Watch: Rescue crews, citizens team up to save two people from Lake Erie


CLEVELAND (WJW) — Exclusive video released to the FOX 8 I-Team shows police, firefighters and citizens teaming up to pull two people to safety from Lake Erie.

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And, they did it just in time. Witnesses said a fisherman fell into the lake, and then his girlfriend jumped in after him. They both ended up in trouble.

It happened along the shoreline off East 72nd Street in Cleveland. Police body camera shows bystanders on the shore desperately holding the hands of the people in the water.

One person tells an officer, “He don’t know how to swim. We can’t hold on any longer.” And, “She’s pregnant. Holding on to a log.”

Cleveland police camera footage

As rescuers get there, you hear shouts of, “Hold on. Hold on. Hold on. Hold on.”

The rescue took place late one night about a week ago. Cleveland police, Metroparks police and city firefighters all scrambled there. And, as precious seconds ticked away, you hear one of the bystanders trying to help call out, “I’m losing him.”

Dispatch records show confusion trying to get rescuers to the right place. The 911 center got a call, but someone hung up in the chaos. And, someone mentioned the scene was actually miles away at Edgewater park.

As police and firefighters found the scene, a firefighter got to the woman and said, “Ma’am we got fire here. Reach up. We’re gonna pull up at once. Somebody grab my legs.'”

Still, it took a combination of first responders and citizens to, ultimately, pull both people out of the water. Incredibly, both did get pulled to safety without any serious injuries.

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Meantime, the I-Team caught up with a relative of the man rescued. She had called 911.

And Vykira Eberhardt told us, “I told them when I was there, I appreciated their help. The way he was panicking, there was no way he was getting out that water. So, I wanted to thank them for helping us and getting there on time.”

Close call. But, two rescues carried out. And, so many people had a hand in it.


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